I’ve always believed that everyone is dealing with their own loneliness; as a result, I’ve thought up some ways to fight loneliness and handle this common emotion. People feel the emotion of loneliness because they need to be a part of something, feel valued, and know that their environment will respond to them. Loneliness is in part a result of our lifestyles – we’re spending more time in front of computer screens and Smartphones than ever before and the baby boomer generation are dealing with more and more seclusion in their old age. Loneliness is a complex emotion; when you feel lonely, it is usually because a memory of that emotion is being triggered, not because you are in fact always isolated and alone. Below are some useful ways to fight loneliness that I hope will in turn help you should you be feeling lonely.
One of the ways to fight loneliness is to simply choose not to be lonely! The mind is a powerful tool. You might find that your loneliness is in fact a result of an emotional or mental habit. All of us have experienced degrees of abandonment in our lives, and some things in our adult life can often trigger those abandonment feelings we felt when we were young. It’s the memory of abandonment distress that can be experienced as loneliness. You can, however, plan to change your lonely habits, and know what your lonely triggers are. This way, you can begin to focus less and less on your lonely feelings.
Instead of withdrawing into yourself and thinking negative thoughts about how you don’t matter or how no one is contacting you, try reaching out and initiating healthy interaction with friends and family. Everyone has a different social need – some people have to be around others all the time, whereas some don’t need to be as socially stimulated. If you’re not naturally an outgoing person and you struggle with shyness at parties and networking events, it can be challenging to meet people and make friends. People are generally friendlier than you think, so try not to let shyness stand in your way, and go a little bit beyond your comfort zone.
The process of starting out solo after a relationship breakup can be really daunting. No matter who finished the relationship, or how it ended, it can still leave you feeling isolated, broken hearted and alone, especially if you spent many years together. Don’t expect to feel great the next day, and process your feelings and memories together. Begin dating when you feel ready, and don’t let others push you or force you into something you don’t feel comfortable doing.
They say that you work somewhere because of the people, not because of the company. Maybe you recently moved to a new city to start a job and left the comfort of your old job and former colleagues behind. Big changes can make for the loneliest times of our lives, so in these situations, try befriending new colleagues, ask them where they go for lunches, or where they grab their morning coffees from. They might start inviting you!
The key to coping with the death of a loved one (whether expected or unexpected), is to not let the feelings of grief consume you. It’s easier said than done, but try reaching out to friends and family members for support and if you need more support than they can offer, consider turning to a professional grief counselor. Another way is to think about the person that has passed, and ask yourself how they’d want you to feel. Most likely, they’d want you to be happy, healthy and move on, not be wallowing in tears or feeling depressed. Stay true to yourself, take as much time as you need, and honor the person’s memory, then try to move forward.
Listening to pleasant and joyful music can sometimes heal and help reverse lonely moods. The brain is programmed in such a way that thinking about one negative thought recollects another and music can provide a great intervention to break this cycle. If you concentrate on the music you’re listening to, it becomes difficult to focus on negative thoughts. Music can also boost levels of the hormone dopamine (which actually makes us excited and motivated).
Loneliness can be an opportunity to remind ourselves that we are dwelling on our own egoistic identity rather than on the support we’re receiving from the universe. We are all an integral part of the natural cycle of life (just like fish are surrounded by water) as we are immersed in the universe. Never forget this fact whenever you feel isolated and alone and remember, we always have a choice not to be lonely.
What are some ways you handle your own loneliness? Please share with us in the comments section.
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